tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN November 11, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST
itunes, just search "state of the union." fareed zakaria "gps" is next for our viewers here in the united states. this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. today on the show, the second obama administration. how can the president and his team make sure to do it right? how can he avoid the pitfalls of so many second terms? i'll talk to two former white house chiefs of staff and david gergen, who has advised several presidents. then, what happens when you mix big data and a presidential election? the results are fascinating and a little scary. it might well be the future of politics in america. also, sea barriers, wetlands, futuristic construction materials. what is the answer to climate change, and how can we all adapt
to this new normal of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods? i'll talk to jeffrey sachs and "time" magazine's brian walsh. and why does the world's greatest democracy have such an antique, disorganized, irregular way of voting? i'll take a look. but first, here's my take. growing up in india in the 1960s and '70s i always thought of america as the future. it was the place where the newest technology, the best gadgets, the latest fads seemed to originate. seemingly exotic political causes, women's liberation, gay rights, ageism, always seemed to get their start on the streets of the united states or in the courts and legislatures. for me tuesday's election brought back that sense of america as the future. the presidential race has been discussed as one that was about nothing, with no message or mandate, but i don't think that's true. put aside the re-election of barack obama and consider what else happened this week. three states voted to legalize same-sex marriage, which is the civil rights cause of our times.
one day we will look back and wonder how people could have been so willing to deny equal treatment under the law to a small minority. and tuesday will stand as one of the most important moments marking the end of that cruelty. two other states voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, which will mark the beginning of the end of the war on drugs. this may be the most costly, distorting and futile war the united states has ever waged. over the past four decades we have spent $1 trillion to fight this war, without reducing the availability of drugs in cities, while also destroying our penal system. the u.s. has more than three times as many prisoners per capita as we had in 1980 and about ten times as many prisoners per capita as other rich countries, according to data from the oecd. about 1.6 million americans were arrested in 2010 on drug charges, most for using marijuana.
this week's votes indicate that americans have begun rethinking these policies, perhaps moving towards ones that would deprive drug cartels of their huge profits and allow our police to focus on serious crime. perhaps the most stunning shift this week came not in the passage of a ballot measure or law but an exit poll finding, one that might move us toward major legislation. when asked what should be done with the almost 12 million illegal immigrants working in the u.s., almost 2/3 of respondents wanted to grant them legal status. now, remember, four years ago anti-immigrant voices were so loud that john mccain, the sponsor of a comprehensive and intelligent immigration reform bill-h to run away from his own handiwork when he was campaigning for the white house. i hesitate taitd to build a grand narrative out of all this but the trend seems to be toward individual freedom, self-expression, and dignity for all. this embrace of diversity in every sense is america's great gift to the world, one which
foreigners since the days of alexis detocqueville have always marvelled. in 1990 the neo conservative writing ben watten berg wrote a book called "the first universal nation," arguing that the u.s. was -- all thriving in their individualism. that diversity, he said, is going to be america's greatest strength in the years ahead. while wattenberg's party, the gop, has taken to look at this new america with anxiety and fear, he was right. what the world saw this week was a picture of america at its best. edgy, experimental, open-minded, and brilliantly diverse. for more on this go to cnn.com/fareed. there is a link through to my "washington post" column. let's get started now. let's get right to our panel to talk about just how you plan
for a successful second term in the white house. my guests are all old white house hands. they are ken duberstein, who was white house chief of staff in ronald reagan's second term. john podesta had the same job in bill clinton's second term. and cnn's david gergen advised those two presidents plus presidents nixon and ford. john, you were there before and during the transition and chief of staff in the second term. how do you re-energize an administration going into the second term? is it important to change personnel? is it important to have new policy initiative? what were your lessons? >> well, there's a natural changing of personnel because these are grueling jobs so a lot of people are going to leave. we know the secretary of state hillary clinton and secretary of treasury tim geithner are leaving. those are two of the all-stars in the administration. so there's going to be a lot of turnover.
and what you want is both a certain level of experience in your personnel, but you also want some new blood, and i think the president met with his team and they're in the process of making those selections. secondly, you really have to focus on what you want to accomplish, particularly in the first year. i think that first year after re-election is the time to get a lot done. >> ken, do you think that it is possible to make -- to make decisions that -- personnel-wise that get you into trouble? there's this famous story about reagan's second term where james baker goes in with donald regan, the then secretary and said, mr. president, we've come up with an idea, let's swap jobs. >> right. it didn't work out so well. >> it didn't work out so well. that while don regan might have been a good secretary of treasury, he was not a good chief of staff. >> right. look. the answer is, to follow up on what john said, you've got to
open the circle. you need some fresh talent, you need some fresh blood, you need some fresh ideas. you also have to examine the lessons that you learned from the first term and realize that nothing is static. which means you have to start building relationships that you may not have had during a first term. john is right. you have about a year before you start getting into the next, god forbid, election cycle. this is the time where you have to narrow your agenda but be bold. what are the two, three, four things that you really want the country and your presidency to build around. >> david, a lot of people think it's not just a question of new personnel. that the president in this particular case needs to learn a new style, he needs to be more of anthonyive political figure. do you think, a, that's true? and b, do you think it's possible? can presidents change their basic -- the way they do business in the middle of their presidency? >> yes, i think they can.
and you saw that withability clinton, who i think after -- especially after his midterm loss in his first term changed his governing style and became a much more effective president. as john podesta can attest to. history suggests to me, fareed, three basic lessons about second terms. first, move quickly. that's both what ken and john have both emphasized, that power does seep away from the presidency very quickly in the second term. after the first year people start looking toward the second -- the midterm elections, and then after the midterm elections they look over your shoulder at the succession question. and domestically power seeps away. you have to move quickly. second lesson is gsh and dick newstadt our old friend echlized this again and again. you have to avoid hubris. i think in this case, the importance is for president obama not to overread the election results. understand them, use them
effectively, but also take a look at his governing style. and finally, you have to expect the unexpected in a second term. often on foreign policy. and as you know, fareed, again and again presidents eventually spend more time on foreign policy than they do on domestic policy in the second term. >> so when you're reading the election results, to bear david's admonition in mind, john podesta, clearly the president was re-elected because of minorities, particularly hispanics. do you think that will mean we should not be surprised to see very prominent appointment of hispanic americans or things like that? is that calculus one that begins to play immediately? >> well, i think what you'll see really an emphasis from this president on is on immigration reform. i think you'll see it in the personnel side, but i think really it's going to go to the substance. i think republicans are back on their heels, having really gotten clobbered amongst latino
voters. and i think they're ready to deal and i think you'll see them come forward with immigration reform. but i think as important to hispanic voters is going to be what can he do on education reform, what can he do to keep the costs of college down, what can he do to get jobs growing and try to find a way forward, again, in this gridlock city. but i think you'll see a big emphasis on that. fl happen early. and i predict he'll be successful because i think the republicans are ready to deal now. >> i would assume he would put the fiscal cliff and then a grand bargain up first and then come to immigration. i agree with both ken and john. immigration reform is very likely to pass because the democrats really want it and the republicans very much need it right now. on the question of governance i do think the president needs to learn from some of the troubles he's been having. he's still remote, even to democratic figures, but he needs to -- he needs to develop personal relationships. governing is not just about
going around the country barnstorming in favor of your policies. as much as the president wants to do this in the second term. it's also being effective inside washington in the inside game. edd lewis in the "financial times" pointed out the president played 105 rounds of golf since he's been in office. only one with a republican. >> so we're going to talk about how the president is going to try to develop a new, more effective governing style to deal with what is surely item one on the agenda, which is to stop the united states from falling off a fiscal cliff. when we come back. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move
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and we are back with ken duberstein, john podesta, and david gergen. all white house hands, all of whom have served in second terms. john podesta, what does president obama do to ensure that the united states does not fall off the fiscal cliff? you've already seen, there is much debate about this, and many people on the left, paul krugman in the "new york times" is saying do not make a deal just for the sake of making a deal, hold out and call the republicans' bluff. >> well, i think that this election set this up as one in which the president won on the basic argument that taxes needed to go up, particularly for the wealthiest americans, they need to pay a little bit more to try to solve the deficit problem. and i think he's got to stick with that. the one thing he was clear about was that he wasn't going to sign a bill that extended high-end tax rates from the bush era. now, he's going to have to negotiate with the republicans.
if they have ideas on how to raise taxes from that group, i'm sure he's willing to listen to them. but i think right now he can't -- he's got to be successful in creating this fiscal framework that gives him the revenue that he needs, to make the investment that he wants for the things like education, infrastructure, science and tech that he talked about to the american people. so he's going to have to i think be tough but prepared to compromise and he's going to have to be clear to the american people what his priorities are. >> david gergen, the republicans already keep saying that there's no mandate here, but my reading is close to john podesta's, which is the president did talk a lot about the need for investment, about the need for education, science, research, infrastructure and he talked about how to pay for it. will that translate into leverage on capitol hill? >> some, but not a lot. and i think that's -- you know, the truth is the president clearly campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthy.
he obviously campaigned about protecting education and infrastructure. and he ought to be tough on that, as john says. but i think the really -- the big question is how do you -- how do we avoid the cliff? i think we can. i'm optimistic we can. i think people often in washington are dumb but they're not crazy. and they're simply not going to take us into another recession i think. but the danger is this. the president has to decide, look, do i want a grand bargain or do i want to isolate and fight it out over this tax increase on the wealthy? i think if we get hung up on that issue, there's a higher chance we're going to go over the cliff. the issue ought to be how do we get revenue that's going to help, you know, settle this grand bargain. and if the republican -- if he can get the republicans to agree to a framework that really will seriously increase revenue and increase the tax burden on the wealthy, the president's got to keep on -- but do it within the framework that also agrees to some sense of entitlement reform and put that into next
year. i think that's a more productive way -- if we isolate on this question of whether we're going to raise taxes on the elites both sides are dug in and we easily go over the cliff. i think it ought to be wrapped into the bigger discussion of how do we get revenue. >> ken, so far what i've been struck by is the republicans have been remarkably flexible on the issue of immigration. even sean hannity says his position, in that wonderful washington word, has evolved. but no such evolution on the issue of taxes. both boehner and mitch mcconnell said taxes will simply not go up, period. >> bu i think you're missing the second part of the sentence which is they're willing to consider new revenue. there are lots of ways, in that old expression, to skin a cat. i thought john boehner the other day was quite emphatic in saying we are open to new revenues under the right framework. dave gergen is absolutely
correct. i think this is a two-step deal. i think it's too ambitious with too little time to get to the grand bargain in the so-called lame duck session of the congress. but i think you can scrape together enough to avoid sequestration and avoid the fiscal cliff or fiscal slope. remember, they have to come up with only about $100 billion. i know that sounds weird. but $100 billion to set that aside. between spending cuts and perhaps some loophole closures i think they can raise it. but you can't confuse that with a long-term deal. >> john podesta, does the math work, though, which is if you close deductions for the wealthy people can you raise enough revenue? i think that's the fundamental question. >> well, i think the -- you know, this became a really contentious issue in the campaign. i think the only way to do that and to raise enough revenue is to actually take a big bite out of the middle class.
that was the import of the tax policy center's analysis of the romney tax plan. >> and i think what the republicans would argue, david, is that the big problem is tax hikes are here to stay and spending cuts tend to fritter away. you know, the spending restraint is maintained for a year or two. is there a way to do a deal where you put in place super majority requirements, that is to say if you now want to go outside of this framework and raise spending again you need 66% votes. something like that so that republicans are assured that you don't have a two-tier system where the tax hikes are prominent but the spending cuts are one-year deals. >> that would be a very smart way to go. i think you have to put some for examples in there for both sides, frankly. and that has a lot of merit to it. i come back to this notion of whether the -- i think it's perfectly fair for the president to say we need more revenue and within that context i promise the american people the burdens would go -- the wealthy would have to pay more. but you can do that within the framework of simpson-bowles.
simpson-bowles didn't ask for tax increases, or increases in the rates. what it asked for was to go through tax reform and lower the rates, in fact. >> ken duberstein, finally, you were often described as a rino, a republican in name only, because you were seen as a moderate. how do you feel today? >> i think the republican party has to evolve. not just on social issues but immigration reform. and to find out what the real identity is. to go back to not purism but reality. purity is fine, except it doesn't win elections and it's not a governing strategy. you have to be pragmatic. and four-letter words don't include compromise. you have to learn how to compromise. >> ken duberstein, john podesta, david gergen. thank you for a fascinating conversation. i hope the president consults with all three of you.
>> thanks, fareed. >> up next, what in the world? election week showcased a lot of great things about america but it also highlighted one glaring problem, a problem that puts us behind the likes of venezuela and iraq. i'll explain when we come back. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about your old 401(k). tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 you know, the one that's been lying around. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 rollover your old 401(k) to a schwab ira, and we'll help you tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 find new ways to make your money work harder. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so if you're ready to teach your old 401(k) some new tricks... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 rollover your old 401(k) tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 to a schwab ira tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and you can receive up to $600. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 see schwab.com tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 for terms and conditions. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call, click or visit tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 to open an account today. good boy. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. so i never missed a beat.
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now for our "what in the world" segment. imagine a country on election day where you know the results the instant the polls close. the votes are counted electronically. every district and state has the same rules and the same organized voting procedure. it is managed by a nonpartisan independent body. sounds like the greatest democracy in the world, right? try mexico or france, germany, brazil. certainly not the united states of america. america has one of the world's most antique, politicized and dysfunctional procedures for
its elections, a crazy quilt patchwork of state and local laws with partisan officials making key decisions and ancient technology that often breaks down. there are no national standards. american voters in more than a dozen states, for example, don't need identification. but even india, with a gdp just 12% that of ours, is implementing a national biometric database for 1.2 billion voters. the nascent democracy in iraq famously dipped voters' fingers in purple to make sure they didn't vote again. why are we so behind the curve in the conservative columnist david frum recently wrote an excellent article for cnn.com and he tells a story about the 2000 presidential election. the city of st. louis, missouri had an outdated voting equipment. so there were long delays in voting. but st. louis was heavily democratic. so al gore's campaign asked a judge to extend voting by three hours. the judge agreed. but then george w. bush's campaign protested and the judge
was overruled. meanwhile, vote hg already continued 45 minutes past the legal time. is that how elections should work in the world's greatest democracy? in most other countries an independent national body would make the big decisions, there would be nonpartisan observers at the polls, and of course there would be modern functioning equipment. even venezuela, which had elections last month, had electronic voting booths with biometric technology across the country. we've been criticized around the world for this. i saw a scathing 116-page report about our electoral process published by all places russia. here's "the wall street journal's" translation of it. "the electoral system are contradictory archaic and moreover done meet the democratic principles that the united states claims are fundamental to its foreign and domestic policy." i hate to say, it but moscow has a point. on the one hand, we have one thing the russians don't, actual free elections. this election season we've seen
attempts to shorten the early voting period to further one party's chances of victory. our ballots can be as long as a dozen pages. in some places they're paper ballots and in some they're electronic. and election day always falls on a tuesday, a working day. every four years we see the chaos of american elections, but nothing changes. this week international election observers were banned from nine states. some of these men and women were threatened with arrest. maybe we should start learning from election officials from abroad, not trying to throw them into jail. up next, big data in the presidential election. why what you eat and what music you listen to has everything to do with whom you voted for. [ abdul-rashid ] i've been working since i was about 16.
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that romney supporters prefer to dine at olive garden and watch college football? well, big data does. big data. that is the buzzword for the immense amounts of information being captured about all of us in this interconnected age. it's a great boon for business. but unbeknownst to many of us, it was also used to great effect in the 2012 presidential race. here to explain is "new york times" reporter charles dewher. charles, what is big data? why is it new? >> big data is -- two things have happened in the last four or five years. the first of which is that everyone is now generating much more data throughout theron tire life. when you go online, when you use your credit card, when you do almost anything that allows a company to track your behavior, you're creating data about yourself and your preferences. and in addition, computing power has grown so much, so significantly, that companies and campaigns can now take that data and can crunch it within seconds to try to figure out who you are, what types of habits you have, what do you like and
what can push your buttons. >> so explain what the campaigns have been doing with this new data. >> one of the things the campaigns have done is they've tried to vacuum up everything they can. it used to be that when somebody was running for office they would get the voter file and it would say someone's name, where they lived and their party affiliation, whether they ever voted before. now each campaign has literally thousands of data points on you. they know what magazines you subscribe to. they know if you've ever declared bankruptcy or gone into foreclosure. they know how many kids you have. they know if you've ever bought a boat, what type of insurance you own, where you send your kids to school. thousands and thousands of data points they collect to try to create an image of you. and at the center of that is the same question. how can i push your button to vote for my guy? or gal. >> and what do you find -- what are the kind of surprising things that are predictive of whether or not you're going to vote -- you're likely to be a republican or a democrat? >> what's interesting is a lot of you as you mentioned when you
introduced me, was the other place you go. we didn't know, for instance, that romney supporters go to olive guarden and obama supporters go to red lobster. but knowing that is very useful. because that means romney can go buy ads in olive garden and say if you don't often vote, come out to the polls because i know you're going to vote for me. >> why were obama's people better at this? >> obama's people were better at it for two reasons. the first of which is they had a lot more time to build it up. keep in mind four years ago obama started building this data base. so when mitt romney came to the campaign this year he really had to recreate the wheel that the obama people had been building for four years and building the data base bigger and bigger and bigger. the second is there was a fundamental difference in approach with the two candidates. romney outsourced its data management. obama built it inside. there was a big question going on. the romney folks would say, look, it's better to outsource because we can get the most cutting edge science. where obama was stuck with the
information from four years ago. but the question is when you build it inside you really oent knowledge, the technical know-how, and that seemed to make a huge difference. the romney campaign folks i spoke to inside the campaign said on election day they were blown away. they had no idea how much more obama knew about voters in certain areas and it just blew them out of the water. >> what gets people to vote? there are people who say, you know, once you've identified as a likely to be democrat or republican the trigger you pull -- i read somewhere that shame is actually a very useful inducement, which i suppose the catholic church has known for a long time. >> that's true. a number of religions -- and i think mothers have perfected using shame. there's two things in particular. if someone votes -- voting is a habit. so if someone votes, they're going to vote next time. you and i, we didn't have to be persuaded to vote. but there are people out there who are potential voters but not necessarily going to show up. and for them there's two things you can do. the first of which is you can get a friend to call them or a friend of a friend. this is one of the reason why's
obama.com and romney.com asked you to use your facebook log on, so they can figure out who all of your friends are, so you can see this happened for me, we saw you're facebook friends with ruben in nevada. can you give him a call right now and ask him to go vote? because we're not certain he's going to show up on his own. >> giving them a call is more important than e-mail. that human contact -- >> absolutely. if you can get them to give the call. a lot of people, it's easier for them to e-mail them. they say do what you can. they pressure you to give them a call. they know the human contact is a social habit there that will get that person to vote. but you're right. the other part is shame. move-on.or moveon.org, i guess they're known as moveon now. used a tactic similar to this. what they would do is send people report cards, this is how frequently you voted in past elections, this is your voter score, we might follow up after this election to let you know if your score's gone up or down. they're trying to shame you or pressure you through social
pressure to vote because they're saying look, there's someone watching you, peering over your shoulder, and we'll know whether you show up or not. >> the part we hear about when we think about big data is should i be scared? do people really know all the stuff about the intimate details of my life, my life on computer, my -- to what extent is somebody out there in david plouffe's office looking at him saying, hey, charles duhigg in new york city, these are the four movies he watched streaming online in the last week. >> i think people can put their worries at bay for two reasons. the first of which is still by far the most predictive things are the basics, and the campaigns have known these for years, right? where you live, how much money you earn, what your party registration is. unless you feel bad about people knowing these basics, you don't need to be worried in this new age. second is both campaigns went out of their way to try to
anonymize data they collected. so they could track user 1 rk 300 from site to site to site and they would see if you came to barack obama.com where do you know next, what issues do you seem to care about based on where you surf. but they never linked up that user number with a voefrt's name. that's because they chose not to. in future years they could. >> and companies can. >> companies do all the time. right? target, walmart. everyone else tracks who you are online and offline and tries to match them together. and the question of whether you should be worried about it, i think it depends how much you value the sense of privacy. the truth of the matter is if you don't want anyone to track you just use cash, never use a coupon, don't open any e-mails. >> use cash and live in a cave. >> exactly. >> charles duhigg, pleasure to have you. >> thanks for having me. >> up next, we know the next disastrous storm is coming soon somewhere around the globe. the only questions are when and how can we prepare our cities, our towns, our infrastructure. right back. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production.
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hurricane sandy left a trail of destruction in its wake. it also left us with this statistic. three of the ten biggest floods in lower manhattan since 1900 have occurred in the last three years. and it's not just new york. freak weather seems to be here to stay all over the globe. on the one hand, the world needs to think about how to stop or reverse climate change, but in the meantime, we will have to figure out how to adapt to what is becoming a new normal. i'm joined by two distinguished experts. bryan walsh is a senior writer for "time" magazine. he reported this week a terrific story on how to climateproof a city. and jeff sachs, a regular guest on "gps," is of course one of the world's best-known economist and the director of columbia university's earth institute. jeff, let me start by asking you, to what extent can we link climate change to hurricane sandy? what would be the fairest way to describe it?
>> well, one thing we can start with is the ocean level has risen in the eastern seaboard by almost a foot during the past century. and that means that storm surges are all the more extreme. the flooding, which was so destructive, is made worse by that. and the ocean surface, sea level keeps rising. and it's rising because of the glaciers melting, the ice sheets thinning, and the risks of massive increase of ocean levels are very, very real. so that's one very clear part of human-induced long-term climate change during the past century. whether the particular storm, this extraordinary storm, a tropical storm hooking up to this arctic storm and creating such damage on a long swath, that the hurricanologiss are
debating and they'll be debating for a while. >> do you think we're thinking enough about how to adapt and make ourselves resilient to these kind of new forces? >> well, clearly not. we're not thinking of either the mitt gailths, how mitigation, how to stop the damage we're creating and how to adapt to the changes that are already under way. we've not been doing what we need to do. we are not doing our homework. when the engineers look at this in the united states, the infrastructure specialists, they're aghast, and they've been telling us year in, year out our infrastructure is not up even to just maintenance, but it's not up to the climate change that's also under way. >> what was it about this -- our infrastructure that made this worse than it had to be? because in your essay you say a lot of this destruction was manmade in the sense that we had the wrong infrastructural -- or it was in such a state of
disrepair that we caused a lot more damage than we needed to. >> well, it's manmade in the sense -- we've put nearly 4 million americans around the country within a few feet of high tide. those are the people who are vulnerable anytime a major storm comes through. and as jeff mentioned sea level rise has happened and will accelerate in the future. so this will become a bigger problem in the years to come. specifically when it comes to sandy, we've seen still we still have hundreds of thousands of people who lack power. that's in large part because we have an antiquated grid, one that's mostly above ground. when you have a major storm and you have wind, trees get knocked over. it knocks over those lines. people lose power. so one simple way we could deal with that is try to put more of our power lines underground. that's one way to deal with, it make sure we get power. and then we just have to think about what sort of infrastructure do we need to put away from the coast, maybe above sea level. one thing we definitely know is you don't want to put your backup generator in the basement as a number of companies and institutions in new york did. how do we make when this happens people and vital infrastructure is away from the water? >> when you look around the
world, do you think anyone is doing this well? that is, preparing for this kind of extreme weather, particularly hurricanes, tornadoes, things like that. >> well, there are places of course like the netherlands that have been fighting the sea for centuries, and they indeed have used the most modern technologies to put up sea barriers and to prevent the massive flooding and they have a lot of lessons to teach us. >> you know that there's been this debate about cathy a kind of almost series of natural barriers around new york, islands, sunken subway cars, using shells. is that from what you could tell in your reporting, is that a more -- is that something that the consensus of experts feels is better than these dined of big sea walls which are $10 billion or something like that? >> that's certainly a less expensive way to go about doing it and it's a way that would be less disruptive to the natural environment than building as you point out a sea wall which would cost i'm sure more than $10 billion. what's important to also remember is it wouldn't protect
everything. new york city has over 580 miles of coastline. you can't protect all of it with a seawall. you might protect parts of lower manhattan, parts of brooklyn, but in turn that would actuallys outside the seawall. we already have a political debate about who got served first when it came to the response of the hurricane. i can only imagine how huge the political battle would be about who was protected by the seawall and who wasn't. >> should we not live so close to the coastline? >> i think we should say for years the world's biggest cities are located on the coast. that's where you trade, that's where the world economy operates. the sea base trade has been organizing the world economy for a very long time. >> if people would live a little further away from the actual water than they do now -- >> there may be particular zoning issues, to be sure, but we should understand, city after city, great cities around the world are on the coast. i think the point is there's no
way we're going to beat this just through adapting to the changes. we are on a path of raising the impacts so powerfully, so frighteningly, that if we don't get the climate change itself under control, i don't think we'll ever catch up through patching, through these kinds of solutions, through emergency response. everywhere that i've been in recent weeks, that's usually a lot for me as i'm traveling around the world. nigeria recently. massive floods when i got there. i was in bangkok recently. i was remembering the one-year anniversary of the devastation of bangkok when the whole city basically was under water and the economy took a terrible hit. there have been huge storms, huge sea surges, floods, not to mention, and we should remember, the u.s. went through its worst drought in modern history this year. the warmest 12 months on record
in america, the warmest single month on record in july, so we're being hit on many, many sides, and i just want to emphasize that as we think about the protection which we have to do, we better turn to a low carbon energy system if we're going to have a chance against all of this, because we need to slow down the human-induced climate change as absolutely the first resort. we won't keep up with this damage otherwise. >> jeff sachs, brian, glad to have you on. up next, a new way for the chinese to relive some old history, bloody old history. back in a minute.
challenge. which political prisoner turned national leader's image was put on his or her nation's freshly printed bank notes this week? is it a, nelson mandela, b, c or d? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. if you miss a show, go to cnn.com. you can get the audio part for free or buy the video. this week's book is "the revenge of geography." robert kaplan reminds us that the map still matters. where you are, who your neighbors are still has a profound effect on your destiny. now for the last look. one of the many unknowns in the chinese transition is how the new leadership will deal with increased tensions between china and many of its neighbors,
especially its deep-seated dispute with japan. but here's a place where chinese citizens can work out some of those tensions by reliving old ones. it's a warfare scene park where visitors and actors don the garb of either china or japan and fight to the death with toy weapons, thank goodness. hopefully the two sides won't result to real guns any time soon. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was a. they honored nelson mandela this week but putting him on their bank notes. the big five, leopards, rhinos and lions. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. hello, everyone.
i'm fredricka whitfield with a check of our top stories. top members of congress are demanding answers about the fbi investigation that uncovered former cia director david petraeus' extramarital affair. they want to know who in the fbi and the obama administration knew about the affair, when they knew it, and whether lawmakers were notified in a timely fashion. we'll have details at 4:00 eastern time today. israel fired a warning shot into syria today after a stray mortar shell came across the border. the shell hit an israeli military post in the golden heights area. no one was injured but jerusalem has filed a complaint with u.n. forces operating in the area. and closer to home, a new york resident hardest hit by superstorm sandy are getting ready to enter their third week without power or water. more than 38,000 customers remain in the dark. the storm is now to blame for 43 deaths in new york alone. and a world exclusive